Whale Sharks Snorkeling and Swimming
Where is the best place to swim with whale sharks in Philippines? There are 3 well known places where to see whale sharks, swim or snorkeling with them.
1. Oslob in Cebu.
2. Donsol Bay.
3. Pintuyan along the coastline.
We will not try to describe what it feels like to be anywhere near an animal this large. Being dwarfed by a whale shark is something that has to be experienced. Of everything you may do on vacation, a photographic size comparison is one of the most memorable keepsakes. One of the reasons people can swim alongside these gentle giants, by the way, is because they move at a slow pace.
Where can you swim with a whale shark?
The sea between Oslob, Cebu and Sumilon Island is the most common destination to go swimming with whale sharks. The locals' practice of feeding shrimp to these giants keeps them reliably coming back.
Whale sharks are found in other places, as well. If visiting Balicasag, Caluya, Olango, or Sibay islands, our boat crew might point one out.
For guaranteed whale shark sightings, we bring our guests to Oslob (from Mactan in Cebu, and Panglao in Bohol, only).
We may also spot them in the waters off Buruanga, Aklan. However, these locations only offer chance encounters.
The largest specimens you see will probably be the females. However, statistically, two-thirds of our encounters are with males.
How do I swim with a whale shark?
1. Whale shark watching begins from a boat. However, you do not watch them only from the deck. Instead, you can join them in the ocean and swim alongside them.
2. Do not jump in the water, use the ladder of the boat as the splash will disturb the walesharks.
3. Swim alongside these gentle giants, at a respectable distance, but don't touch. In the Philippines, touching a whale shark is punishable with a fine. Snorkelers, by law, must stay more than 1 metre (4 feet) away. Be careful swimming near the tail!
4. Return to the boat and review the photos that your family and friends hopefully took of the whale sharks.
Fact About Whale Sharks
Whale shark also known as Rhincodon typus, is the largest fish in the world. In the Philippines, locals call them butanding or balilan.
The largest specimen measured a formidable 12.65 metres (41.5 feet) in length and weighed a whopping 21.5 tonnes (47,000 pounds). The species evolved about 60 million years ago, and individuals live an estimated 70 years.
The name whale shark conjures up two reactions. The word whale suggests a massive size, and the word shark instills fear. While this species is indeed one of the largest in existence, it is also one of the most docile. They pose no threat to humans and their food is almost exclusively plankton.
On the other side, in 2016 whale sharks were declared endangered species on the IUCN Red List.
Although it is a shark, the name derives from its similarities to whales. Whale sharks are close to blues and humpbacks in size. Plus, the species is a filter feeder, similar to some cetaceans.
Whale sharks prefer warm waters over 21°C (70°F). Thus, the Philippines is a comfortable, tropical home.